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Ohio’s new medical marijuana law went into effect on September 8, 2016. Ohio became the 26th state, plus the District of Columbia, to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use. And as several other states are set to vote on legalizing marijuana to varying degrees in the November elections, this remains an issue for employers to watch. But at least for employers operating in Ohio, nothing will change as a result of the state’s new law.

In Ohio, individuals with certain “qualifying medical conditions” will be able to legally use medical marijuana.[1] There are currently 21 qualifying medical conditions included in the law, such as cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, PTSD, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, spinal cord disease or injury, and pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable. Patients must receive a “recommendation” (not a prescription) from a physician in order to obtain medical marijuana.

The new law expressly addresses employment issues, resolving each of these issues clearly in favor of employers. Specifically, in Ohio:

In addition, the law offers protection to Ohio employers from a broad range of potential lawsuits that might otherwise be filed by employees who use medical marijuana under the new law and then suffer adverse employment actions as a result. The law states that it does not permit a person to sue an employer for refusing to hire, terminating, disciplining, discriminating, retaliating, “or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment related to medical marijuana.”

In short, Ohio employers are not required to make any changes as a result of the new law. Employers operating in the state may continue to require testing as required by their policies and may discipline or discharge for policy violations, even where an employee uses medical marijuana pursuant to the law. Employers may not, however, make employment decisions or take actions against an employee or applicant based on the individual’s underlying medical condition. Actions based on the underlying medical condition may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act or corresponding state law.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: No Changes For Ohio Employers Under The State’s New Medical Marijuana Law
Author: Christina A. Pate
Contact: The National Law Review
Photo Credit: None Found
Website: The National Law Review